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Old 08-03-2012, 07:15 PM
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Glass experts

I'd like to replace windshield in my daily driver. Local places want $200+
I figured I'd give it a shot. Windshield itself is $80. I can pick up windshield cutter for $10. How much urethane (tubes) would I need? I've seen it done many times and think I can handle it. For $200 I'd rather pick up urethane gun, press a button and you can effortlessly lay out pretty nice bead.

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Old 08-04-2012, 07:51 AM
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Thats what I thought too...any time you watch a pro do anything it always looks easy...I've done about a 1/2 dozen windshields before I had any problems...Now I call the glass guy every time without hesitation...its well worth it...
The electric chalk gun is something you can use for many different jobs,its expensive and only needed out in the field where there is no compressed air ( I have an air chalk gun) one tube of urathane is enough for most windshields.heating it up makes it work easier..
The most important tool for glass work is the electric cutter,it looks like a sawzall with a stainless putty knife on the end ,MAN that thing cuts clean and fast ,you dont ever want to use a piano wire or one of those pull blades.By the time you got one piece of glass cut out you could have completely installed five windshields with the proper tools... I had to learn the hard way....You sound like you will too but at least I warned you ...200.00 isnt so bad but be warned about those 80.00 Chinese windshields they are crap and full of flaws sometimes you dont see them until you drive the car and then its too late...
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:54 AM
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You know what's funny about this Mike, before someone told me you can't cut a laminated windshield out with a cut out knife, I did a bunch of them and didn't break a one! Then I learned that you can't do it and that was the end of me being able to do it.

But honestly, cutting a windshield out that you are going to toss in the garbage anyway? Why not just go for it.

Here is the lowdown.

Cut it out using one of these.





You want to cut it right against the glass, which is the easiest too. The blade slides on the glass separating the glass from the urethane.

After you remove the glass you then need to cut the urethane bed down some, cutting it in half or a little lower is what you want. This leaves a nice clean urethane for your new urethane to adhere to. DO NOT clean it or do anything to this cut urethane, cut it with a nice new razor blade and that shiny black surface is exactly what you want to put your urethane on top of. This is called a "partial cut out" in the industry and part of the ICAR guidelines to window replacement.

You cut the tip of your urethane tube (and NO you don't need to buy an electric gun, the manual gun works just fine) so that it puts a V shaped bead like this.



You cut the tip like this.



Here is a site explaining why. Round Bead v.

You set the glass onto this bead and press it down a bit and wham, you have a windshield installed.

A few pieces of blue masking tape holding it in place and the next day you drive off like a hero.

HOWEVER, on the same respect, the windshield costs you $80 (MY GOD that cheap) and the urethane is about $30 I believe and the caulking gun (it needs to be a real good one not those cheapie sheetmetal ones from the McHome store) is about $20. That means those guys are only charging $70 to install it. I would say I would save up by skipping the red bull in the morning and beer in the evening for a few weeks and have them do it.
There is NOTHING that is more crappy and harder to remove than window urethane! You go to set that glass in and you touch the urethane and lift it up, STRINGS of urethane are now going to fall all over on the dash and your hands and arms. This stuff is SERIOUSLY hard to get out.



Brian
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:12 AM
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Thanks for very informative posts. I actually found electric caulk gun at Home Depot for $40 (Ryobi brand)
I've read your links and there's attached video of "investigation" where a lady flew 70ft through windshield. I do understand that windshields are integral part of the vehicle however driver should be wearing a SEATBELT. It's interesting how they blame a faulty windshield install while driver was negligent by not wearing a seatbelt.
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitmaks View Post
Thanks for very informative posts. I actually found electric caulk gun at Home Depot for $40 (Ryobi brand)
I've read your links and there's attached video of "investigation" where a lady flew 70ft through windshield. I do understand that windshields are integral part of the vehicle however driver should be wearing a SEATBELT. It's interesting how they blame a faulty windshield install while driver was negligent by not wearing a seatbelt.
I have went around and around on a forum with a guy about butyl tape for the windshield on an older car. Because it had a "urethane type" material holding a windshield on a 1968 Camaro doesn't mean using a butyl today is that big of a deal. First off, it isn't a unibody like todays cars where the glass IS an integral part of the structure. If you hit something in your 68 Camaro hard enough that this butyl tape held windshield is going to be a problem, you have MUCH bigger issues to deal with!

But honestly, if the glass is clean, we are talking without any kind of residue from some crap that flashed so fast it left a residue (I should have mentioned that before ) and the urethane has a fresh cut setting a urethane window isn't that big of a deal. You don't want that cut urethane to sit more than an hour or so. (realistically much longer but I am just going with FOR SURE kinda times) so it doesn't "reheal" and glaze over. A fresh cut urethane bead is almost like a fresh laid bead, it is ready for an application of urethane over it just like it was fresh.

Brian
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by MARTINSR View Post
You know what's funny about this Mike, before someone told me you can't cut a laminated windshield out with a cut out knife, I did a bunch of them and didn't break a one! Then I learned that you can't do it and that was the end of me being able to do it.

But honestly, cutting a windshield out that you are going to toss in the garbage anyway? Why not just go for it.

Here is the lowdown.

Cut it out using one of these.





You want to cut it right against the glass, which is the easiest too. The blade slides on the glass separating the glass from the urethane.

After you remove the glass you then need to cut the urethane bed down some, cutting it in half or a little lower is what you want. This leaves a nice clean urethane for your new urethane to adhere to. DO NOT clean it or do anything to this cut urethane, cut it with a nice new razor blade and that shiny black surface is exactly what you want to put your urethane on top of. This is called a "partial cut out" in the industry and part of the ICAR guidelines to window replacement.

You cut the tip of your urethane tube (and NO you don't need to buy an electric gun, the manual gun works just fine) so that it puts a V shaped bead like this.



You cut the tip like this.



Here is a site explaining why. Round Bead v.

You set the glass onto this bead and press it down a bit and wham, you have a windshield installed.

A few pieces of blue masking tape holding it in place and the next day you drive off like a hero.

HOWEVER, on the same respect, the windshield costs you $80 (MY GOD that cheap) and the urethane is about $30 I believe and the caulking gun (it needs to be a real good one not those cheapie sheetmetal ones from the McHome store) is about $20. That means those guys are only charging $70 to install it. I would say I would save up by skipping the red bull in the morning and beer in the evening for a few weeks and have them do it.
There is NOTHING that is more crappy and harder to remove than window urethane! You go to set that glass in and you touch the urethane and lift it up, STRINGS of urethane are now going to fall all over on the dash and your hands and arms. This stuff is SERIOUSLY hard to get out.



Brian
That cuting knife works ok to get the glass out (like you said Its already broke) but its all the effort and time it takes using one ,Especially for a first timer...Once you see someone zip around with a real cutter(2-3 min) you'll never want to even look at one of those T handle cutters again.Oh, and what about the bottom of the glass where the urathane can be up to 2" wide, the blade isnt long enough to reach all of it.hech the long handled razor knife and getting the rest from the inside,what a back breaker.I gotta admit though all the glass I cut out was with the pull cutter and the long knifeand I thought I was superman too, its just once I saw how ez it CAN be I wont waste my time doing it the hard way.
Heres 2 more reasons NOT to do it yourself. for one its more expensive,sure,lets say the glass is 80.00
glue 30.00
chaulk gun 40.00
pull type cutter 40.00
1/2 a days labor 00.00
----------
190.00
Some windshields have a molding that also has to be replaced ,some moldings are reuseable some dont have any moulding at all.That could bean added expense.
What if you have a leak?????
What if you get it all in and it dont leak but theres a flaw in the glass that you never noticed (it happend to me) I just called the Glass guy up and showed him and he promptly pulled it out and replaced it (no charge) and if it leaks they'll fix it quick by pulling the glass and redoing it, in about the time it takes to have a smoke..
Having a windshield replaced is cheap 200.00 is about what I pay for the average car,any higher than 300.00 and I'd probabaly be doing it myself.Trucks and vans ,thats a whole nuther story I did one full size van one tme and I'll never do another...Ended up calling the glass guy to pull my butt ot of the fire after playing with it for two days and loosing my....mule.
Come to think of it THAT was the Last piece of glass I ever did....well,almost did..
Its like changing your own oil,why bother,theres the time it takes, the trip to the parts store, the mess that has to be disposed of properly (a second trip to the parts store) then a good shower before you can do anything else.I'll change my own oil in my hotrod but never in my DD cars...and all I have to do is pull them into my shop, if I had to do it in my driveway at home, NO WAY...
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:29 AM
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windshield replacement

I bought a wrecked ford pickup for $1000. Blue book was $ 5 K. a friend had a one man body buisness, Parts and a trip to the alignment shop was another $ 1 K, We pulled the broken windshield then stripped all the old butyl, then used a hammer and dolly on the flange. He said that is important on a crash replacement glass, The windshiels was still good 10 years later when I sold it. I had a cracked glass in my DD Ranger. I called the Glass Co and asked how much. they did a phone Quote of $ 400, I said I have a friend in the body business that could get the glass and supplies for $ 120, I said I would wait until I drove to Calif to visit Family. They dropped the price to $ 185 so I had them do it. If we broke a glass we would be in the hole on cost.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:34 AM
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bone yard glass

I've pulled a couple windshields from the bone yard cost $ 20, I take a can of motor oil with me and keep dipping the cutter and razor knife in oil to keep the "Glue" from sticking back together, Then finish cleaning up the glass and goo at home.
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:29 PM
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I've pulled a couple windshields from the bone yard cost $ 20, I take a can of motor oil with me and keep dipping the cutter and razor knife in oil to keep the "Glue" from sticking back together, Then finish cleaning up the glass and goo at home.
Hey thats a good idea...
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitmaks View Post
I'd like to replace windshield in my daily driver. Local places want $200+
I figured I'd give it a shot. Windshield itself is $80. I can pick up windshield cutter for $10. How much urethane (tubes) would I need? I've seen it done many times and think I can handle it. For $200 I'd rather pick up urethane gun, press a button and you can effortlessly lay out pretty nice bead.
I just take them to Jacobs and let them do it. $200 + an hour of my time and done deal.
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:53 AM
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Dont they come to you OF...
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:23 AM
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That cuting knife works ok to get the glass out (like you said Its already broke) but its all the effort and time it takes using one ,Especially for a first timer...Once you see someone zip around with a real cutter(2-3 min) you'll never want to even look at one of those T handle cutters again.Oh, and what about the bottom of the glass where the urathane can be up to 2" wide, the blade isnt long enough to reach all of it.hech the long handled razor knife and getting the rest from the inside,what a back breaker.I gotta admit though all the glass I cut out was with the pull cutter and the long knifeand I thought I was superman too, its just once I saw how ez it CAN be I wont waste my time doing it the hard way.
Heres 2 more reasons NOT to do it yourself. for one its more expensive,sure,lets say the glass is 80.00
glue 30.00
chaulk gun 40.00
pull type cutter 40.00
1/2 a days labor 00.00
----------
190.00
Some windshields have a molding that also has to be replaced ,some moldings are reuseable some dont have any moulding at all.That could bean added expense.
What if you have a leak?????
What if you get it all in and it dont leak but theres a flaw in the glass that you never noticed (it happend to me) I just called the Glass guy up and showed him and he promptly pulled it out and replaced it (no charge) and if it leaks they'll fix it quick by pulling the glass and redoing it, in about the time it takes to have a smoke..
Having a windshield replaced is cheap 200.00 is about what I pay for the average car,any higher than 300.00 and I'd probabaly be doing it myself.Trucks and vans ,thats a whole nuther story I did one full size van one tme and I'll never do another...Ended up calling the glass guy to pull my butt ot of the fire after playing with it for two days and loosing my....mule.
Come to think of it THAT was the Last piece of glass I ever did....well,almost did..
Its like changing your own oil,why bother,theres the time it takes, the trip to the parts store, the mess that has to be disposed of properly (a second trip to the parts store) then a good shower before you can do anything else.I'll change my own oil in my hotrod but never in my DD cars...and all I have to do is pull them into my shop, if I had to do it in my driveway at home, NO WAY...
You have a lot of VERY good points! I was thinking of the easiest, I honestly don't know how Mitmaks cars windshield mounts and could very well have talked him into trying something that is virtually impossible for the non pro to do! There are MANY cars with a urethane seal at the lower side of the windshield that is inches away from the edge! You need a long knife that goes down from the top side over the dash to get to. There are others that you simply CAN NOT cut out without breaking, the pros with the proper equipment can't or give it a very low possibility when they come out to the shop telling us, be ready to buy a new glass!

There are also many that have a rubber moulding that you can't buy without buying the new glass, the glass shop often has an AM that they will use.

Yep, you are very right, this may just be a time when having the pro do it SAVES money.

Thanks for you other detailed disagreement with my post. He can make a more educated decision.

Brian
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:14 AM
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I've always been the type to jump right in and do it ,whatever it is and cutting out glass is just one example ..many times ,OK every time its against what the pros advise,So I know most jobs can be done but at what cost? Theres been so many times I've done a job and lost my "mule" that I have to give fair warning,However once the counter points have been made ,I have to say I'm glad I did the job because its the experiance thats most valuable even though it may cost me more in the long run its worth it, sometimes you just have to pay to learn and learning is always good even if you have negitive results. Just never jump right in with your eyes closed ,knowing what could go wrong before you start could save a lot of frustration...
There is one other warning and its about that pull knife.... DONT buy a cheap knockoff from china..The metal the blade is made from really sucks and the blade wlll snap..not really a problem unless your removing a shatterd windshield and your arm slids over shards of broken glass when it breaks...
Dont skimp on that cutter...
It may sound like I'm trying to talk you out of it but I'm not ,I'm just explaining,at best, it'll cost the same amout to do it yourself (if you get lucky)or double that if your not lucky so if your only doing it to save money ,you wont. but if its the experiance and satisfaction of doing it yourself your after, then you cant go wrong so try it...
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:13 PM
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ive done a bit of glass work, that pull knife will have you mad in minute. either use a wire to cut it out , or get an astro air powered knife. they work well for the money. you also should use a glass primer around the edge.
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:33 AM
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I've done a few windshields and the tools I used were a far cry from the efficient tools I've seen window guys have. They do it very quickly and are pros...just don't leave any moulding on that may have to come off beforehand otherwise they get all bitter and will break it and not say anything... they are specialized at glass that's about all I can say.
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